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UK Visa for Nurses

If you have trained outside the EU/EEA and are applying to register as a nurse or midwife in the UK, please read the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) booklet for information about all stages of the process. Since October 2014, the NMC has had a new process in place for overseas registration.

Applications

To check that the applicant is capable of practising safely and effectively in the UK, the NMC will assess their qualification, training and experience against their standards. The NMC will consider whether the applicant has the necessary post-qualifying practice and experience in each area of nursing or midwifery. This must be appropriate for the part of the register for which they are applying.

New applicants

Applicants must complete an online self-assessment of their eligibility to apply before beginning the application process.

Test of competence

In the UK, each field of nursing and midwifery is separate and distinct. Each requires three years of specialist pre-registration education and practice. The test of competence requires extensive preparation and study to make sure applicants can demonstrate knowledge, understanding and application of professional skills at the right level. Information and specific competencies on nursing and midwifery pathways are available at: http://www.nmc.org.uk/registration/joining-the-register/trained-outside-the-eueea/adult-general-nursing/

The test of competence is in line with the NMC’s pre-registration standards and competencies for all nurses and midwives. There are standards for adult (general) nursing, children’s nursing, learning disabilities nursing, mental health nursing and midwifery. They cover professional values, communication, nursing decision-making and leadership.

Nurses and midwives work in a variety of clinical settings and they are exposed to a variety of settings during their education. All nurses and midwives at the point of entry to the register are competent to work in all professional areas of nursing or midwifery practice.

These areas of practice include acute care, long-term care, caring for healthy people, caring for patients with complex needs and morbidities, and caring for patients in the community setting including in their own homes. All nurses are expected to be able to care competently for people across the life span and respond to a range of needs. For example, a children’s nurse should also be able to respond to the needs of pregnant and postnatal women and people with mental health needs, physical disabilities or dementia.

Once applicants have passed the eligibility assessment, they will be asked to sit the first part of the test of competence. This will be a computer based test of theoretical practice-based knowledge. The test format will be multiple choice and can be taken in test centres around the world. Applicants will need to contact Pearson Vue, the NMC’s test provider, to book and pay for their test. For more information, please read the Candidate guide for Pearson Vue [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][PDF].

The objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)

The second part of the test is the OSCE. This will act out scenarios which nurses and midwives are likely to encounter when they assess, plan, carry out and evaluate care. Each separate clinical examination is known as a ‘station’ and candidates will visit all the stations within a set time.

Each of the six stations has standardised marking criteria against which all candidates are assessed. Candidates are assessed by a panel of examiners and will be filmed for quality assurance purposes.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate safe and effective practice. The test of competence is based on current UK pre-registration standards.

Applicants can take the OSCE in the UK at the University of Northampton. When NMC authorises candidates to take the OSCE, they should contact the university directly. The University of Northampton website has information about the processes and links to relevant resources.

Identification check

Applicants are required to attend a face-to-face identification check at NMC’s office in London. At the ID interview applicants must produce the original versions of the documents they sent photocopies of. The NMC will make final checks on the applicant’s previous registration, and take a photograph for their records.

The NMC cannot issue applicants with a Pin, or place them on the NMC register, until they have met the requirements of this check.

English language requirements

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements, with an International English Language Test (IELTS) score of 7.0.

The UK immigration processes

Applicants will be required to meet the full requirements of the UK’s immigration processes separately.

 

Nurses and Business Visitor visa

An overseas qualified nurse can apply to UKVI as a business visitor to travel to the UK to take the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)

You must be:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • 18 or over
  • receiving your salary from abroad and able to support yourself for the duration of your trip
  • not in transit to another country (except for Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands)

Your visa will be refused if you aren’t eligible or don’t provide enough information. Contact us on 0207 494 0118 and we can provide advice and assistance with your Business visa application. Your Business visa application must be submitted from your country of residence or Home Country.

The Tier 2 (General) visa

As an overseas nurse (from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland) and you have been offered a skilled job in the UK as a registered nurse you must be sponsored (ie have a certificate of sponsorship from a licensed sponsor) before you can apply to come to the UK to work. The work you do in the UK must relate to the work of your sponsor organisation.

How long it will take

You can apply for a visa up to 3 months before the date you travel to the UK. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Fees

How much you pay for a Tier 2 (General) visa depends on your situation, where you are and how you apply.

You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you will have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can come to the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for a maximum of 5 years and 14 days, or the time given on your certificate of sponsorship plus 1 month, whichever is shorter.

Your stay must start no more than 14 days before the start date on your certificate of sponsorship.

You can apply to extend this visa for up to another 5 years, as long as your total stay is not more than 6 years.

What you can and can’t do

You can:

  • work for your sponsor in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job in the same sector and at the same level as your main job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job which has a shortage of workers in the UK for up to 20 hours per week
  • do voluntary work
  • study as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job you’re sponsored for
  • travel abroad and return to the UK
  • bring family members with you
  • You can’t:
  • own more than 10% of your sponsor’s shares (unless you earn more than £155,300 a year)
  • get public funds
  • start working before you get the visa
  • apply for a second job until you’ve started working for your sponsor
  • You’ll need to make a new application if you want to do a second job that’s not in the same sector as your main job.

 

Eligibility

You must have all of the following to be eligible for a Tier 2 (General) visa:

  • a certificate of sponsorship reference number
  • an ‘appropriate’ salary
  • the required level of English

You must also have £945 in savings – this is to prove you can support yourself. You must have had this in your bank account for 90 days before you apply, unless you’re exempt.

You don’t need to have £945 in savings if your sponsor is fully approved (‘A-rated) and they have stated on your certificate of sponsorship that you won’t claim benefits during your stay.

There are some additional rules if you’re currently in the UK on a Tier 4 (General) visa and you want to switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Certificate of sponsorship

A certificate of sponsorship is a reference number which holds information about the job and your personal details. It’s not an actual certificate or paper document.

Appropriate salary

The job you’re offered must pay £20,800 or more, unless your current or last permission to stay in the UK is as:

  • a Tier 2 (General) migrant before 6 April 2011
  • a Jewish agency employee
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
  • a work permit holder
  • an unregistered nurse but your salary will be earning at least £16,271 while you’re doing your supervised practice or £21,478 after you have Nursing and Midwifery Council registration – and you’ll still be sponsored as a nurse by the same sponsor after you’re registered

Knowledge of English

You may need to prove your knowledge of the English language when you apply. You can prove your knowledge of English by either:

  • passing an approved English language testwith at least CEFR level B1 in reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • having an academic qualification that was taught in English and is recognised by UK NARICas being equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree
  • You may be able to meet the English language requirement in other ways or need a higher level of English in some circumstances. Check the full visa guidancefor detailed information.

Exceptions

You won’t need to prove your knowledge of English if you’re a national of one of the following countries. Please note for registration with the NMC there is an English language requirement and all applicants must meet their English language requirements, with an International English Language Test (IELTS) score of 7.0.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

You also may not have to prove your knowledge of English in other circumstances.

Documents you must provide

When you apply you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport or other valid travel identification
  • a passport-sized colour photograph
  • bank statements showing you’ve had at least £945 in savings continuously over the last 90 days, or your sponsor’s certification that they can support and accommodate you for the first month you’re employed
  • proof that you meet the English requirement
  • your tuberculosis test resultsif you’re from a country where you have to take the test

You’ll need to have a blank page in your passport on which to put the visa.

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that aren’t in English or Welsh. A full list of documents can be provided to you. You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Applying from outside the UK

You must apply online for a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You’ll need to have your fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre (to get a biometric residence permit) as part of your application.

You’ll have to collect your biometric residence permit within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK.

You may be able to get your visa faster or get other services (like translation) depending on what country you’re in.

You will have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

North Korea

You cannot apply online if you are living in North Korea.

Applying in the UK

You can only extend your existing visa or switch to this visa if you’re already in the UK.

Extending your visa

You may be able to apply to extend your stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (General) visa.

You should include any dependants who are on your current visa on your application to extend. This includes children who have turned 18 during your stay.

You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must have current permission to enter or stay as one of the following:

  • Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • qualifying work permit holder
  • representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
  • member of the operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • Jewish agency employee
  • You must also meet the following conditions:
  • you have the same job as when you were issued your previous permission to enter or stay in the UK
  • you’re still working for the employer who assigned your certificate of sponsorship
  • you’re still earning an ‘appropriate salary’ – read the guidanceif you’re not sure
  • You must be in the UK to extend your visa.

 

How long you can stay

You can extend your stay in the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa for up to another 5 years. You cannot stay in the UK under a Tier 2 (General) visa for more than a total of 6 years.

Fees

We can advise you about the UKVI fee for your type of visa. You will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. We can advise what you will have to pay before you apply.

Within the UK you can:

  • apply online as an individual or as a family group
  • ask to use the priority service

You can get a same-day decision at a premium service centre. We will arrange an appointment in advance and you will complete a paper form.

Biometric information

You will also have to provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20. You can give your biometric information at:

  • at certain Post Office branchesif you applied online
  • at a premium service centreif you applied in person

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to extend your visa is successful.

How long does it take?

Decisions are made:

  • within 8 weeks for online applications
  • within 10 days if you’re able to use the Tier 2 priority application service
  • usually on the same day if you use the premium service
  • You’ll be contacted if your application is complex and will take longer, for example because:
  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, e.g. if you have a criminal conviction

Once your application has been submitted to UKVI you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

If you change your job

You may need to apply to extend your Tier 2 (General) visa application if:

  • you want to change your job and your new job is with a different employer
  • your job changes to a different standard occupation classification (SOC) code
  • your job is taken off the shortage occupation list
  • your changes of job means you’re paid less than the amount stated on your certificate of sponsorship or work permit
  • You won’t need to make a new application if you’ll be staying with your current employer but your job will change in other ways, e.g. you want to change to a job in the same SOC code, or your pay will increase.
  • You must have a new certificate of sponsorship and you must meet all other application conditions, but you won’t need to send evidence in support of your application if you’ve sent it for a previous Tier 2 application.
  • You can continue working for your previous sponsor until the start date on your new certificate of sponsorship if your current permission to stay is still valid.
  • You should not start your new job until you’ve received your biometric residence permitwith your new permission.

Switch to this visa

You can apply to change (‘switch’) from another visa to a Tier 2 (General) visa. You should apply before your current visa expires.

Eligibility

You must already be in the UK under any of the following visas or schemes:

  • Tier 1 visa
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa
  • Tier 2 (Minister of religion) visa
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer: established staff) visa and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 2 (Intra company Transfer) visa under the Immigration Rules in place before 6 April 2010 and you’re applying to change sponsor
  • Tier 4 visa, or you’re on another kind of student visa – read ‘Switching from a Tier 4 visa’ below
  • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and sporting) for a job as a professional footballer and you meet the Tier 2 (Sportsperson) requirements
  • Highly Skilled Migrant Programme
  • Innovator Scheme
  • Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme
  • International Graduates Scheme (or its predecessor, the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme)
  • Business and Commercial work permit (except multiple entry work permits)
  • Sports and Entertainment work permit (except multiple entry work permits)
  • You can also switch to a Tier 2 (General) visa if you’re:
  • a dependent partner of someone with a Tier 4 visa
  • a Jewish agency employee
  • operational ground staff of an overseas-owned airline
  • a minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
  • an overseas qualified nurse or midwife
  • writing up a thesis
  • a postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • a representative of an overseas business
  • a representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
  • a student union sabbatical officer

You must leave the UK and make your Tier 2 (General) application from abroad if you are not in any of these categories.

Switch from a Tier 4 or other student visa

You must have one of these qualifications from your student visa if you want to switch from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 (General) visa:

  • a UK bachelors degree
  • a UK masters degree
  • a postgraduate certificate in education
  • a professional graduate diploma of education

You must have got your qualification at a UK recognised body or an institution that has a Tier 4 sponsor licence.

The other student visa categories are:

  • student
  • student nurse
  • student re-sitting an examination
  • overseas qualified nurse
  • person writing up a thesis
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • student union sabbatical officer

 

PhD students

You must have completed at least 12 months’ study for your PhD during your most recent stay in the UK and had permission to take the qualification.

How to switch your visa

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application.

Within the UK you can:

  • apply onlineas an individual or as a family group
  • ask to use the priority service

You can get a same-day decision at a premium service centre. We will arrange an appointment in advance and complete a your application form.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for up to 5 years after switching to a Tier 2 (General) visa.

Biometric information

Each person applying must also provide biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20.

You can give biometric information at:

  • at certain Post Office branchesif you applied online
  • at a premium service centreif you applied in person

You’ll get a biometric residence permit if your application to switch your visa is successful.

How long it takes

Decisions are usually made:

  • within 8 weeks for online applications
  • within 10 days if you’re able to use the Tier 2 priority application service
  • on the same day if you use the premium service

You’ll be contacted if your application is complicated and will take longer, for example because:

  • your supporting documents need to be verified
  • you need to attend an interview
  • of your personal circumstances, e.g. if you have a criminal conviction

Once your application has been submitted to UKVI you can stay in the UK until you’ve been given a decision, as long as you applied before your last visa expired.

Family members

Your family members (‘dependants’) can come with you when you come to the UK on this visa. Your family members must have a visa if they’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife or partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Your family members will also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of their application.

Savings

You must show that your dependants can be supported while they’re in the UK.

Each dependant must have £630 available to them whether they apply with you or separately. This is in addition to the £945 you must have to support yourself.

You must have proof you have the money, and that it’s been in your bank account or your dependant’s bank account for at least 90 days before you or they apply.

Example: You must have £2,205 if you want to bring your partner and one child with you to the UK (£945 to support yourself plus £630 for your partner and £630 for your child).

You will not need evidence of your savings if you have a letter from your fully approved (‘A-rated’) sponsor saying they’ll provide one month’s funding of at least £630 for each of your dependants.

Dependants applying from outside the UK

Your family members must make an online entry clearance application. They’ll need to have their fingerprints and photograph taken at a visa application centre to get a biometric residence permit as part of their application. They will have to collect their biometric residence permit within 30 days of when they said they would arrive in the UK.

They may be able to get their visa faster or other services depending on what country they are in.

North Korea

Your family members cannot apply online if they’re from North Korea.

Dependants applying in the UK on their own

Your dependants can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you if they are already in the UK. Your family members can apply as:

  • a partner with or without children
  • children on their own

They can also ask to use the priority service.

You can get a same-day decision at a premium service centre. We will arrange an appointment in advance and complete your application form.

It’s best for your dependants to apply at the same time as you but they can apply at a later date.

Your family members cannot apply in the UK as your dependant if they hold a visitor visa.

Biometric information

Each person applying must also provide their biometric information (fingerprints and a photo). This costs £19.20.

They can give biometric information at:

  • at certain Post Office branchesif you applied online
  • at a premium service centreif you applied in person

They’ll get a biometric residence permit if their application is successful.

Children born while you’re in the UK

If you have children while you’re in the UK, you can apply for permission for them to stay. You must do this if you want to travel in and out of the UK with your child. When you apply you must send a full UK birth certificate showing the names of both of your child’s parents.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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